Everybody Is Effected By The Me Too..

The title pretty much says exactly how I feel. Most of humanity, I believe, have their horror stories of being sexually harassed, harassed, raped, or somehow victimized in other ways. And even if for their own healing or benefit, their stories need to be told and heard. In the process of doing this I think we all need to recognize something far more important, and that is, that everyone’s individual response to their horror story has changed the life of someone else; whether for the better or the worse. Now I am not sure exactly how I feel about today’s goings on with the destruction of people’s lives some decades later. It may just be a necessary evil, however, needed to wipe the slate clean and give us an opportunity for drastic change. For myself, I have always been a two wrongs do not make it right kind of person and think it is better to try to find the cause of the behavior and fix it instead of allowing victimization to continue for years and to many others and then destroy lives. At least that was my attempted response to my me too moments.

Now another me too moment that I am keenly aware of, is my mothers. Looking back at our upbringing and some of the things she brought into our lives, I can see the conflict in her, caused by her me too moments. There are probably many things she did wrong in our upbringing as she refused to admit and face her demons. But, there are definitely many things that she did right. We always had food on our table, beds to sleep in, a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, etc.. She even provided these things, if only temporarily, to others who she recognized needed the help. Most of those others remain a part of our tight-knit family and are considered siblings to this day.

I want to shine the light on the outcomes of the things that she did right. Because we all have the choice to do right in the face of something horrific happening to us. I am unsure if my siblings would agree with me in the outcomes of what she did right. When I look at them, I see it shining so brightly in their successes. Now you might define success the way Oxford Dictionary defines it “The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status“; I do not. The fact that all of us are loving, compassionate, generous people is probably my mothers greatest success. Add to that, all of those things have now been passed on to further generations; grandchildren, great-grand children, etc.. We are all educated and have great work ethics, strength, resiliency, stubbornness, and I could go on. I consider us a success because we all learned to give back to humanity and what better definition for that word is there than that.

Maybe if we all thought of success in those terms, than we would not make the trade-off of our silence for careers, money, or any other means. Yes it is hard, demoralizing, shameful, and fearful to do the right thing sometimes. And maybe the right thing for each of our moments is to simply protect ourselves. Maybe it is to stop the cycle no matter the cost to ourselves. I wish I had the answer to what the right thing is. Maybe if I knew it and could spread it, we could minimize the amount of victims. Maybe the knowledge that it is all about power is the best place to start. Maybe if we add in the recognition that some are just evil and some are passing on what they were taught as victims of the me too, than we can begin to make changes.

I would like to hope that me too moments would be wiped from the face of humanity, but evil exists and so they shall continue. So if we know this to be true, that they will continue, how can we fix the damage once it is done? or can we? Many say it is too late then. I would like to think that anything and everything is fixable. So as we wipe the slate clean, for the sake of humanity, we should try to find ways to fill the slate with the necessary things that will better us all.

 

Love Should Not Be Just A Word…

Many years ago someone said to me “Do not expect me to tell you I love you everyday. Those words are so overused and people do not mean them anymore”. True to their word, the amount of times I have heard those words I can probably count on both hands. That is not to say they have not loved me or shown me love. I have felt their love in numerous ways. In how they support me, in their communications with me, in the interest they have shown to teach me things, etc.. I write this post as two others, in recent days, have made the exact same statement to me. So if I am to be honest with myself and you, I have found and continue to find validity in their words.

Love is an emotion that we give to and share with each other. In an article I read today someone said they loved their car and a book. NO – you like your car and a book. You cannot love them because neither of those two things can feel emotion or return it. We have replaced words like appreciation, like, and gratitude with the word love. It is time we put love back in its appropriate place and truly mean what we say. I will use the word guilty to describe all of us. Even worse, I might think, there are times when I feel that emotion and should say those words and do not. I guess I have to believe in my heart that the recipient can feel the emotion even if I do not say as much. It is my hope that they feel it in the same way I do; in my support of them, or my communications with them, or in the well thought out gifts I give including my time.

When I see the truths in what these three have said to me and am perceptive to it, my mind says no wonder we are in the volatile place we are. In the process of detaching the emotion from the word, we have allowed negativity and hatred to fill the void in between. We have so skewed the meaning of the word. We tell someone we love them as we beat them, we love them as we belittle and rape them, we carry a sign with the word love and swing it at someone. How do we expect anyone to truly know what love is? Only by saying and showing it at the same time can we truly teach someone what it is. Sadly, in all our years in this separation, we have no idea the damage we have caused each other. And in our struggles with this separation there has been so much pain, that we have found ways or tried to find ways to numb it instead of fixing it. In its purest sense love should bring peace, joy, happiness, calm, safety, and security, among other things.

I shed this light only to burn a brighter one.  I see the awakening and feel the healing in myself and others as people begin to speak their truth and release their pain. You may not yet see this awakening, but I and others feel it coming at us like a freight train. Many yell at the top of their lungs that it is too late to do anything about the damage. We must know it will not be easy to cure or fix the ills. Maybe we are not supposed to. I used the analogy the other day that we currently are like telephone poles and the first one has fallen and the weight on the wires is pulling down the next and then the next. But there is good news and hope rings eternal in me and I know somewhere in you too. That truth be told with every devastating blow, there is a void created and chance for a rebirth. What will we fill the void with?

I say if we can find a way to reconnect and use that word only when we feel its emotion, and even more importantly if we can properly teach it, than I know we can fill the void with love. For there are truths to love – It is powerful, it also has a ripple effect if we choose to pass it on, and most importantly – IT ALWAYS WINS….

Combining Curiosity..

Imagine if you will having the combination of curiosity and sensitivity. In my youth I thought it to be the most horrible combination. I can tell you from experience that this combination leads to the possibility and even probability of pain or hurt added into the mix. I tell people all the time that I had the strap on my butt more times in a week than most have had in their lifetimes. You see as soon as I could walk, I wanted to see, touch, feel, learn, etc.. It was not that I did not want to obey my parents, just that what ever caught my attention had a stronger gravitational pull. So my routine between the years of 1 and probably 10 was oh look at that, have to see, oh-oh where are my parents, find somebody to help me find my parents, strap on the butt, and a lot of tears because my butt hurt and I did not know what I did wrong. Eventually I learned that I was putting myself into very dangerous situations and scaring the crap out of my parents at the same time. Sadly for them I learned how to find my way back before I learned self-control. Even possibly more sadly I am not sure how much self-control I have learned. As there is still this strong gravitational pull that yanks me to something I have yet to learn.

Between the years of 10 and 20 something, the pain or hurt no longer involved spankings. Instead, it came with the learning process of things like strength, courage, fortitude, protection, trust, loyalty, honesty to name a few. By the time I reached my late 20s or early 30s, I learned how to use all these things to negate or lessen the blow to my sensitivity.  And am still learning how to use that sensitivity or turn that hurt into a positive solution. I know that learning how to do this will be a constant battle for infinity. I am up for the challenge though.

As far as my curiosity is concerned, that has not changed one bit. I am intrigued by that which I do not know. And It is my belief that we all have things to offer that others do not know and need. The delivery process is what needs to change in my opinion. As I have aged, what I have learned is that when you look at every chance encounter, every meeting, and every discussion there is something for you to learn, as well as, something for you to teach.  As the words flow out of my mouth in every conversation, I realize instantly what it is that needs to be taught to someone. The learning part without self-awareness is much tougher. Sometimes, I realize what I have to learn the second someone speaks it. Other times it takes days, weeks, years, and sometimes a second discussion with someone new before I recognize the lesson. I even believe that when we are simply walking along and a complete stranger catches our eye and we smile at each other. The lessons that we both just taught each other are that we are not invisible; we all have the need to  be recognized at times, and the other that we are simply not alone in whatever it is we are doing and we need to remember that.

If you ask me today about that combination, I would tell you what a blessing life is to have it. You still get excited when you feel that gravitational pull bringing you to something you have yet to learn. You still liven up and run into the unknown to fill yourself with knowledge. Now though, you have the ability to manipulate your sensitivity to approach this learning process with a variety of perspectives. You have the ability to look at the situation from a variety of viewpoints and feel the joy and hurt that comes along with each one. And when you pay attention to that which you feel, when your curiosity is curbed, the decision you need to make becomes clearer and clearer. When you make the decision based on that, you know you are moving your life in the right direction. So for those of you that have this same combination and you think it is deadly, I am here to tell you it is not. Learn how to embrace both and you will not be disappointed by its outcome. Life really truly can be grand. Let’s not only live it, let’s feel it..

 

 

 

Our Veterans and Today’s Issue – Burn Pits…

As Veteran’s Day rapidly approaches and we prepare to honor those among us that have chosen to serve, I would like us to give a little more consideration to those that survived the atrocity of war. My life has taught me that most war is about power and money. I am no expert on the subject, so like any other topic I will remain open-minded to other’s views. I want to refocus my attention, however, back on those who serve whom we all say we support. I question do we really? or to what extent do we? I know we on the most personal of levels, each support those that have served in our own families. Is that enough though? Do we ever really stop to think about the damage that is done to those who serve in war and survive. Sure we recognize those with lost limbs and other physical damage. Do we consider those whose damage is internal both physically and/or mentally? What greater damage can there be than to have locked away memories in part of the brain in hopes to not remember, not relive, and certainly not have to justify.

Some would say they knew what they were getting into, or what the risks were. Did they? or do they really? Oh sure they realize that there is a possibility that they could lose their lives. I would think that is why they are taught to rely on each other, so as to prevent that from happening. I cannot fathom though, that they even remotely think about some of the things they will be asked to do and the effects of what doing these acts would bring. Sure they are told that guy is a bad guy. How do they know that to be true? Do they consider that a person on the other side is thinking or being told the same thing about them? What happens when children are involved? I cannot help but hope like every other that one day there will be peace on Earth. Until then I will continue to weep for humanity as we allow governments around the world to use us as pawns in their quest for this power and money.

For those in my country, before we start blaming one side or the other for being the party of war mongers, think about this; In my lifetime, under every president, there have been conflicts somewhere that we have gotten involved in. Also factual is that there were nearly as many Democrats as there were Republicans in these years. There actually would have been equal amounts had one not been forced to resign his position. So guess what, an ugly truth war is an equal opportunist. No one has been better than the other in this instance, they are all guilty, and they all have caused damage to a faction of society that I myself really need to think more about.

With all that said, I made a promise, to a family I care deeply about, to bring attention to a battle they are fighting. You see a member of the family is fighting to survive an illness caused by exposure to open burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have learned that there are many others fighting similar battles; both soldiers and military contractors. This is a reason why I mentioned earlier that I am not sure, that the brave men and women that volunteer to serve, really do know what they are getting into. As I, myself, am in the midst of doing my homework on the subject, I will let you know some of what I have found and also attach links.

I have not read the book written by Joseph Hickman “The Burn Pits – The Poisoning of American Soldiers” as I find myself needing to prepare physically, mentally, and emotionally for it. I have read, however, a book review written by H. Patricia Hynes; a retired environmental engineer and professor of environmental health in which she says the following:

“They are called “this generation’s agent orange”. The open fire pits operated on over 230 US Military bases across Iraq and Afghanistan during our wars there. Every kind of waste: plastics, batteries, old ordnance, asbestos, pesticide containers, tires, biomedical, chemical and nuclear waste; dead animals, human feces, body parts, and corpses were incinerated in them.”

Imagine if you would, that your job was to watch and maintain these fires, or that you were in constant close proximity to them. Now also imagine that you have to fight a battle to survive the cancer you received from its inhalation. Above is just a snippet of her review, but you can find Ms Hynes complete book review at http://truthdig.com. You can also learn more about the burn pit topic at the following website: http://www.burnpits360.org or check out The Burn Pits Documentary-Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/burnpitsdocumentary/. Yes there is a documentary, that people are trying to get into cinemas, to make America aware of what is happening to these men and women. If you, like me, want to do your part, maybe you can help bring the film to a cinema near you. It will not be an easy watch I am sure. The name of the movie is “Delay, Deny, Hope You Die – How America Poisoned Its Soldiers”.

I want to say thank you for taking the time to check out what is happening with today’s veterans and for learning more about the burn pits. Those of us who have never served may never know what the battle is that any one of them may face. So if possible, let’s try to show our veterans a little more love this Veterans Day and every day for that matter. And Let’s not forget to thank them wholeheartedly for the freedoms that we enjoy because they chose to serve and pay prices we could never possibly imagine. If we can help, lets help.